Firearm possession in Singapore is rare, but two young men have found themselves facing possible jail time and caning after authorities discovered one of them had in his possession a gun and live rounds of ammunition.
In a joint statement on Wednesday (Oct 9), the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said that the men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested after the gun and ammunition were found in a flat where the younger man lived.
The men are also suspected drug offenders, the authorities said.
According to the statement, police were first alerted by the CNB to the firearm’s existence on October 7.
Investigations were immediately carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and CNB, with the support of Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Police Intelligence Department (PID).
The following day, the police and CNB mounted a joint operation and arrested the 24-year-old at the void deck of his residential block near Jurong West Street 72.
He was brought back to his flat, where a search uncovered the firearm. No drugs were found in the search.
A report by The Straits Times cited police as saying that the gun is believed to be a Seahawk pistol. The report added that it was loaded with four rounds at the time it was found, while another four rounds was found elsewhere in the suspect’s home.
- The Straits Times
In the wee hours of October 9, the older man was arrested along Woodlands Street 13, after authorities found reason to believe he had remained in the company of the first suspect with the knowledge that he was in possession of an illegal gun.
For unlawful possession of a firearm, the younger man faces between five to 10 years in jail and a minimum of six strokes of the cane.
The 25-year-old, who will be charged with consorting with a person to carry arms, faces the same punishment prospects.
Both men, who have not been named, will face court on Thursday.
Singapore has one of the toughest laws governing gun ownership in the world. Typically, only authorities, military personnel, or professional athletes in authorised shooting-related sports have access to firearms.
According to The Straits Times, this is the first time since 2009 that a person has been found with illegal firearms in Singapore.
Back then, 42-year-old lorry driver Low Hua Choon was found with a loaded semi-automatic pistol in his vehicle. Low claimed that a friend had given him the firearm, and he kept it as he did not know how to dispose of it.
Together with convictions of possessing contraband cigarettes which he was delivering at the time, the driver was sentenced to 12 and a half years in jail and given 17 strokes of the cane.